A notification injunction is an alternative to the conventional freezing order that is available where there is concern that a respondent may deal with their assets so as to frustrate the enforcement of any future judgment. This new breed of quia timet 'notification' injunction is to be welcomed: it represents a further weapon in the Cayman court's arsenal to assist litigants, particularly in fraud and asset tracing cases, to prevent the frustration of judgments.
The Royal Court recently imposed a hefty £550,000 fine on a firm for failing to ensure that, in practice, its anti-money laundering (AML) policies and procedures were being applied effectively and consistently. Notably, the Royal Court was not deterred from imposing a fine by the fact that the failings related to only one client structure. Firms must therefore ensure that their AML controls are being applied effectively across their entire business – for, as this judgment shows, the cost of failing to do so can be high.
When considering the penalties imposed on directors of Guernsey companies for misconduct or breaches of the Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008, arguably the most serious penalty which can be imposed is a disqualification order. Such an order can, at its highest, be career ending for a director, with the maximum period of disqualification being 15 years. This article examines a recent decision in which the Royal Court imposed a disqualification period of 12 years.
In a recent case, the Royal Court intervened to set aside a decision of the trustee not to make the spouse of the settlor a beneficiary in her own right. The court's decision has implications for trustees and their obligation to act reasonably despite the trustee setting out reasons for its original decision.
The International Tax Cooperation (Economic Substance) Act reflected the Cayman Islands' commitment to its obligations as a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's global Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Inclusive Framework and corresponding EU requirements for no or nominal tax jurisdictions. This article summarises the key elements of the act and draws upon guidance issued by the Tax Information Authority.
The terms of a trust deed will usually extend the powers conferred on trustees by the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007. When deciding to exercise these powers, trustees must consider all of their legal and fiduciary obligations. However, it is not always that simple; at some point a trustee will be faced with a decision so important or complex that it wishes to seek the blessing of the Royal Court. In Guernsey, such applications are known as 'momentous decision' or 'blessing' applications.
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The Central Board of Direct Taxes recently attempted to provide relief to individuals who are stranded in India due to the ongoing travel embargo and may be subject to double tax in India. The clarification sought by way of this circular was highly anticipated by individuals who have been stranded in India during financial year 2020-2021 and qualify as tax residents of India under the Income Tax Act. However, the circular offers no respite to individuals, unlike that issued in 2020.
Governments recognise that encouraging people to start businesses and employ others is important for the economy, and that any charge to tax on disposal should be mitigated to recognise the years of work involved in building a business and the financial risk that people take in doing so. This was the principle behind business asset disposal relief when it was introduced in 2008 to replace the earlier business asset taper relief.
The Grand Court has confirmed that shareholders of companies that effect a short-form merger pursuant to Section 233(7) of Part XVI of the Companies Act (2021 Revision) are entitled to be paid the fair value of their shares on dissenting from the merger under Section 238 of the act. The eagerly awaited judgment in Changyou.com clarifies an issue which was previously the subject of extensive debate and provides welcome certainty to minority shareholders of Cayman companies.
The Homeowners Protection Act was designed to provide meaningful protection to homeowners by ensuring a true and proper discourse between borrowers and financial institutions and will likely become the epicentre of the mortgage market. However, the act has failed to achieve the balance that it sought to accomplish and is in dire need of reform.
Despite the various challenges arising from COVID-19 restrictions, individuals and businesses have shown resilience and an ability to swiftly adapt in order to make the most of the new reality – and Jersey has been no different. In particular, the States of Jersey were among the first in the world to introduce new wills and probate legislation as a direct result of the impact of the pandemic.
Traditionally, in order for persons involved in litigation in the Supreme Court to participate in such proceedings – whether as a claimant, a defendant or even a witness – they had to be present in the court. At times, this strict requirement of personal presence served as a barrier to the ultimate goal of resolving disputes through litigation where persons involved therein were unable to attend the trial in person. Notably, the Civil Procedure Rules introduced the option to give evidence through a video link.
The prime minister recently announced a Real Property Tax Forgiveness Programme which will provide waivers to Bahamian and non-Bahamian property owners in The Bahamas who are in arrears. The programme is aimed at collecting outstanding property taxes in order to bring persons into compliance and increase government revenue. It will also assist in easing the financial burden on property owners which has been exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequential economic downturn.
In every case of an individual dying leaving assets in the Cayman Islands, some form of grant must be obtained in order for the Cayman assets to be legally administered. The Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction has a robust framework for resolving estate disputes. The availability of professional trustee service providers to be appointed as personal representatives and who can draw on their substantial executor and trusts experience in complex estates is also a huge advantage.
The Supreme Court recently addressed two important points in relation to family settlements – primarily, whether a married woman's heirs from her father's side can be considered 'family' for the purpose of a family settlement. This judgment follows a line of recent judgments which are pro-women's rights in terms of inheriting and disposing of family property.
The Grand Court recently considered the statutory moratorium against commencing proceedings against a Cayman company in liquidation. The court held that a plaintiff which launches originating proceedings against a company in liquidation, seeking adverse orders against that company, requires leave of the court to bring the proceedings. It also held that the plaintiffs in this case did not have "a case worth entertaining" in respect of either basis on which they had brought their applications.
The reporting requirements under the EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the Field of Taxation (DAC6) as it applies in the United Kingdom are now restricted to cross-border arrangements falling within one specific category of hallmark, Category D, rather than all of Categories A to E listed in DAC6. This is welcome news for lawyers, accountants and other professionals in the United Kingdom working on cross-border transactions and other arrangements, and for their clients.
This article answers key questions regarding restructuring and insolvency in Guernsey. In particular, it covers domestic procedures, cross-border procedures, creditors, avoidance transactions and contributions to the liquidation estate and liability of officers.
A recent court judgment is the latest in a line of Cayman Islands court decisions which have considered the meaning and scope of the Cayman firewall provisions. The Grand Court has now provided important clarification about the effect of Section 90 of the Trusts Act 2020, confirming that it does not operate to bestow exclusive jurisdiction on the Cayman Islands courts (as previous cases have suggested) and that common law principles of forum non conveniens still have relevance and application.